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This Issue's Connections:

University Experiences Shape Alum's Career Awards Dinner Professorships and Faculty Fellows
Upcoming College Events Class Notes Deaths

University Experiences Shape Alum’s Career

Like other alumni, Robert Walters has strong ties to the College of Engineering & Technology. A transfer student from Columbus, Walters received his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering in 1993. Entering directly into the graduate program, he began to work on a number of research projects with several professors, including Ramlakar Rajurkar and Robert Williams at the Center for Nontraditional Manufacturing & Research.

Robert Walters co-taught rapid prototyping and solid modeling using Pro/E on the UNL campus. He sees value in the classes and hopes to continue his association with the College of Engineering & Technology.
“It was because of that opportunity with Dr. Rajurkar and Dr. Williams that I was first exposed to Pro/ENGINEER,” Walters said. Pro/ENGINEER (Pro/E) is a computer-aided-design (CAD) software package that has since shaped his career.

Walters began working fulltime at Transcrypt International in 1995, completing his master’s degree in 2001. In October 1998, Walters and his wife, Kristi, established Pro-Solutions Inc., an engineering design firm that helps companies design, develop and support new and existing products.

In the nearly five years Pro-Solutions has been in existence, it has provided engineering services to such companies as American Tool, Exmark Manufacturing, General Electric, ISCO, Reinke Manufacturing, Parker Hannifin, Square-D and the University of Nebraska. Services include product development and manufacturing support, software and hardware development, PCB layout, machine design and process automation, reverse engineering and specialized training.

Walters’ ties to the College didn’t end with the completion of his education. In spring 2000, he began working with Williams once again, this time to co-teach rapid prototyping and solid modeling using Pro/E. The class was taught again in 2001 and 2002. Walters believes that providing students with CAD experience in their undergraduate classes will prove vital to their future careers.

“I can see the value in providing students with Pro/E or some other specific CAD project-based instruction—whether that be someone in industrial engineering who’s going down the manufacturing route, or the mechanical engineering student who’s going to be designing new equipment and machines, or it could also apply to those in agricultural or biological systems engineering who may be designing new implements and so forth.”

Also in the spring of 2003, Engineering Extension, the outreach organization of the College, and Pro-Solutions began discussing industrial training applications for Pro/E. Extension offers programs, services and resources to entities outside of the college and was interested in offering Pro/E training that would be open to industry professionals and other individuals in the area. Pro-Solutions, Engineering Extension and the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering teamed up to do just that. A one-week course was held on campus during the summer of 2000 and again in 2002. Since then, Pro-Solutions and Engineering Extension have worked together to provide training to employees of various area companies.

Pro-Solutions moved to Technology Park in 2002, creating yet another link between Walters and the University. Located in Northwest Lincoln, the Park provides its tenants with the services and opportunities needed to meet their goals. Pro-Solutions is housed in the Park’s incubator program, which requires its tenants to be developing new technology or using current technology for a unique business purpose.

“The simplest answer to why I went to Technology Park is growth. I’ve had and still continue to have many contacts with the University outside of Technology Park, but in moving there, they’ve opened up even more inroads and opportunities. Also, they are able to help with different levels of the business aspect.”

Walters anticipates remaining at Technology Park for a few more years. He also is currently working to implement a Pro/E curriculum within the College to give students some of the same opportunities he had. “It’d be safe to say that Pro-Solutions wouldn’t be in existence without the University, without the IE department, without the Center… that exposure and experience helped give me the skill set that I needed.”

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Awards Dinner

At the April 26 Celebration of Excellence, the College of Engineering & Technology and its alumni board presented four awards for service to the College, its students and its alumni.

John Dunn, ’70 ChemE, received the Outstanding Alumnus Award. Dunn is the director of human resources for ExxonMobile, has served as secretary and president of the Chemical Engineering Advisory Board, is an active member of the UNL Alumni Association and is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering.

Dunn and his wife, Nancy, endowed scholarship and fellowship funds to support chemical engineering students. They are members of the UNL Chancellor’s Club and the NU President’s Club. Dunn helped establish the Chemical Engineering Alumni Excellence Fund.

The Distinguished Corporate Service Award went to the Peter Kiewit companies, which are based in Omaha.

Award winners: John Woolam, Bill Weins' widow, Kathryn Weins, Bruce Tressler from Peter Kiewit, and John Dunn.
The Peter Kiewit Company has provided resources for capital, program support and equipment needs to the College and The Peter Kiewit Institute. The company encourages its employees to serve on advisory boards, participate in career and business fairs and give presentations to student organizations.

Kiewit also supports scholarships, internships and cooperative education experiences on both the Lincoln and Omaha campuses; sponsors research and senior capstone projects; and gives students access to project sites to enhance their understanding and knowledge of the many aspects of the construction industry. The company also hires numerous College of Engineering & Technology graduates, many of whom hold key positions within the company.

The Distinguished Service Award was posthumously awarded to William “Bill” Weins.

During his time at UNL, Weins gained national exposure through his involvement with the study of corrosion on the USS Arizona, a Memorial in Pearl Harbor, and worked on many other consulting projects.

Weins’ students always were involved in his research and consulting projects. His enthusiasm and excitement garnered him numerous departmental, university and national awards for teaching excellence. In addition to teaching in Mechanical Engineering, the University Foundations Program and the Honors Program, he served as an undergraduate adviser to students and clubs, including the Ethanol Vehicle Challenge, the student chapter of the American Society of Metals and the engineering honorary, Pi Tau Sigma. He also belonged to several professional societies.

John Woollam, the George Holmes Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Alumni Association. Woollam, who spent 13 years with NASA, has maintained his ties to the agency. On three occasions student experiments went into space on shuttle flights.

In 1987, Woollam founded the J.A. Woollam Company, which manufactures ellipsometers. Woollam regularly employs interns, graduates of the College and engineers from around the state, offering innovative opportunities for engineers in Nebraska.

In addition to his professional endeavors, Woollam is involved in supporting the University and the College through scholarship funds for graduate and undergraduate students and departmental support. He also has made generous contributions to the Teachers College at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the physics library at Kenyon College.

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Professorships and Faculty Fellows

Maher Tadros didn’t have a chance to meet his benefactor, but he is honored just the same. Tadros, who recently was named the Charles Vranek Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering, said he considers it a promotion above his full professor rank.

“I have read about Mr. Vranek and am proud of what he has done for the university—and for me as a beneficiary of his generosity.”

Keeping the Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive
As students and the community integrated engineering into life during this year's E-Week, Kenneth Jones (EE '69), Chairman and CEO of Globe Wireless, spoke about the intersections between engineering and the entrepreneurial spirit as well as the value of a Nebraska engineering education.
When establishing his planned gift through the University of Nebraska Foundation, Vranek, who graduated with a bachelor of science in civil engineering, said he wanted to give back to the institution that gave him so much guidance throughout his college career and taught him leadership skills. The first person in his family to attend college, he often referred to himself as the “land-grant kid.”

Vranek worked for the state of Illinois Department of Transportation for most of his career and served in the Navy Seabees during World War II. He died in October 2002.

“Professorships make the college an attractive place to highly qualified people from around the world,” said Ramalakar Rajurkar, professor of industrial engineering and chair of the professorship committee. They also are a great way to reward professors for their dedication to research, teaching and service, the major criteria to receive such funding. Faculty fellows, given to younger, tenure-track faculty members who have not received tenure, must meet the same criteria.

Both awards are made possible through the generous donations of alumni and friends of the University and College.

Following is a list of the faculty awarded professorships and faculty fellows awarded in 2002-2003.


Kamlahar P. Rajurkar, Distinguished Professor of Engineering, IMSE
Hamid Sharif, Cheryl Prewitt Diamond Professor, computer and electronics engineering
Maher Tadros, Charles Vranek Professor
Michael Meagher, Donald F. Othmer Professor

Faculty Fellows:

Ruqiang Feng, engineering mechanics
Sina Balkir, electrical engineering
Steve Goddard, J.D. Edwards Assistant Professor in computer Science
Won Mee Jang, computer and electronics engineering.

PKI Faculty Fellow:

Mingsheng Liu, architectural engineering.

—Constance Walter

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Eighth Annual College Golf Tournament

Monday, October 6, 2003, Firethorn Golf Club
Texas Scramble Format. Registration 12:00 PM; Shot-gun start 1:00 PM
Individual registration and corporate sponsorships available.

Contact Gretchen Livingston, (402) 399-4978, Gretchen.Livingston@hdrinc.com

Upcoming College Events

Aug. 25-29 Welcome Week; PKI Lobby, Activities over the noon hour for new and returning students.
Sept. 17 Engineering Student Involvement Fair, Othmer Hall Lobby, An opportunity for current students to learn about Engineering Student Organizations
Oct. 1 The Big Fall Career Fair, Bob Devaney Sports Center
Oct. 2 The CASNR Big Fall Career Fair, East Campus Union
Oct. 6 Alumni Golf Tournament
Oct. 13 Women Interested in Engineering Day (WIIE) for high school girls
Oct. 26 Fall Open House; PKI (tentative)
Fall (TBA) Omaha Information Night
Feb. 23-27 Omaha E-Week; A variety of activities throughout the week for prospective students
Feb. 12 The Big Spring Career Fair, City Campus Union
Mar. 2 Discover Engineering: An opportunity for students in grades 5-8 to explore engineering
Mar/April Early Awareness Program; Middle school youth learn about careers in IT and Engineering
April 22 Downtown Lincoln Technology Fair
April 23 E-Week Open House
April 24 Alumni & Friends Recognition Dinner

Class Notes

Steven Barrett, EET ’79, is a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wyoming. His first textbook, “68HC12 Microcontrollers: Theory and Application,” co-authored with Daniel Pack, was published by Prentice Hall in 2002. He and Pack will write a second book on the 68HC12 for PH; it will be published 2004.
Michael Behrens, M.S., Env Eng ’98, joined the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality as an Environmental Engineer III for the Waste Management Section, Permits Unit. He recently received his Professional Engineering license as an Environmental Engineer in the State of Nebraska.
S. Albert Bulin, ME ’50, retired as design engineering super, Medium & Large Self-Propelled Harvesters, Ag & Construction ROPSCabs, after 34 years. He writes: “I retired to the slopes of Lake Windsor in Bella Vista, Ark. I don’t fish, but I do sail—1984-2003 has been more than pleasant.”
Harold L. Dey Jr., ChemE ’56, retired after a 47-year career with DuPont.
John R. Jacobsen, CivE ’71, was promoted to deputy director of operations for the Nebraska Department of Roads. He previously served as District 2 engineer in Omaha with NDOR.
John Korff, IE ’88, was promoted to facilities manager for Environmental Health & Safety Engineering with Celestica Inc. in Oklahoma City.
Masoor Malik, BSME ’92; MSME ’95, was elected President of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), Cleveland Chapter, for the 2002-03 term.
Hoa Nguyen, ME ’86, is working as a stress analysis senior engineer at Northwest Composites Corporation in Seattle, Wash.
Stephen Ragoss, CM ’02, is the general superintendent for L.J. Webb Contractor Inc., in Geneva, Neb.
Dan Rosenthal, CivE ’91, is president of REGA Engineering Group, a new civil engineering firm that opened in February in Lincoln.

Way Appointed to Weitz Board of Directors

Radd Way in his office at Weitz
Radd Way (CivE, CM ’83), president of Weitz Nebraska, was appointed to The Weitz Company board of directors in November 2002.

Way, who joined the company in 1983, became president of Weitz Nebraska in 1998 and has led the business unit to double-digit growth with effective, strategic business development. He negotiated several major projects in the Midlands market including the Gallup University Riverfront Campus, First Data AK-II and Mary Riepma Ross Film Theatre and Van Brunt Visitors Center in Lincoln. A native of Lincoln, Way initiated the expansion of Weitz Nebraska to Lincoln and established focus operations for design-build and smaller construction and tenant improvement projects.

Way also sits on the Nebraska Independent College Foundation Board, the Strategic Air and Space Museum Community Board and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Board. He is active with the Leadership Omaha program, the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Association of General Contractors, and the Young President’s Organization.

Hoyt Wells

Hoyt Wells Died

Hoyt Wells, who retired as Goodyear’s vice chairman and chief operating officer in 1995 after 44 years of service, died March 24 in Akron, Ohio.

Wells graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, followed by a master’s degree in 1951. He began his career with Goodyear that same year. Wells held many positions with the company before retiring, beginning with his first job as an engineer at the Lincoln power transmission products plant. In 1991 he was named president and chief operating officer and in 1994 was elected vice chair of Goodyear. In 1988, he was elected to Goodyear’s board of directors.

While at the university, Wells was affiliated with Pi Tau Sigma, Sigma Xi, Sigma Tau and Cornhusker Co-op. A committed supporter of the College of Engineering & Technology and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wells returned as a UNL Master in 1989 and as a guest lecturer for the College in the fall of 2000. He also was named Outstanding Alumnus in the College of Engineering & Technology in 2000

Wells served as President of the University of Akron Foundation and Chairman of the Advancement Council for the University of Akron College of Engineering. He participated in that college’s Engineers in Business Seminar Series.

The Auburn, Neb., native was born Nov. 30, 1926. He is survived by his wife, Meredith, and two children.

 James K. Cawthra, ChemE ’64, died March 5, 2003, in Lincoln. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1964-76. Cawthra was employed by Rockwell International, Rocketdyne from 1976-92, where he worked on projects involving the space shuttle program, the Emerald Laser and the Space Plane. He received a letter of commendation in 1975 from Pres. Ford for his work on the First Airborne Laser Lab at Kirtland Air Force Base and the Rocketdyne President’s Award in 1989 for Outstanding Contribution to the National Aeronautic Space Plane Proposal.

Let us know what’s happening in your life

We'd love to hear from you - send us a note or email:

Constance Walter, Contacts Editor
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
114 Othmer Hall; P.O. Box 880642
Lincoln, NE 68588-0642

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